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Midlands Restaurant Issued With Closure Order

The business was forced to temporarily shut down last month.

A midlands restaurant has been issued with a Closure Order by the Food Safety Authority.

The Chef's Counter take-away on Main Street, Portarlington was forced to close with immediate effect in April for a failure to comply with food legislation.

A HSE inspector flagged issues with the storage of food; documentation regarding the cooling for food;  and 'use by' dates on ready-to-eat products.

The order was served on 25th April and lifted on 5th May.

The inspector's report reads;

"Raw materials and all ingredients stored in the food business were not kept in appropriate conditions designed to prevent harmful deterioration and protected from contamination. The system of cooling foods on the shelf in the kitchen was inadequate. There was a reliance on the ambient air temperature to cool foods. Given the compact nature of this kitchen, with cooking equipment operating the room temperature is not
conducive to cooling foods within a safe timeframe."

It continued;

"The Food business operators failed to ensure that foodstuffs comply with the relevant microbiological criteria...and that the food safety criteria applicable throughout the shelf-life of the products can be met under reasonably foreseeable conditions of distribution, storage and use. The food business operator responsible for the manufacture of the product did not conduct studies...in order to investigate compliance with the criteria throughout the shelf-life.

"In particular, this applies to ready-to-eat foods that are able to support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes and that may pose a Listeria monocytogenes risk for public health. The operator produces a wide range of product and has labelled ready-to-eat products with >48hr shelf-life on each with no evidence of testing to provide grounds for the use-by dates. Lasagne was noted on sale with a 'Use by' date of April 29th (date of inspection April 23rd)."

Commenting today, Dr. Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI, reminded businesses that ensuring correct and proper food safety practices are in place is crucial to protecting the health of consumers;

"The Enforcement Orders in April show that some businesses have committed serious breaches of food safety procedures. 

"Food businesses must have the appropriate registration and/or approval in place before they start to produce and place food on the market. 

"This requirement means that food businesses will be registered and/or approved with the appropriate inspection agency to ensure food safety and protect consumer health. 

"Consumers have a right to safe food and food businesses have a legal requirement to ensure that the food they are processing, serving or selling is safe to eat."

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website at fsai.ie. 

Enforcement Orders and Closure Orders will remain listed in the enforcement reports on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue.

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